Principal Investigator





Chad Drexler

B.S., University of North Florida, 2015; Ph.D, Penn State University, 2021

Office: FNT 3.134


Chad was born in Florida and raised in the greater Orlando area. He attended the University of North Florida where he received his BS in chemistry and a minor in physics in 2015. During that time, he patterned alkanethiolate assemblies on gold surfaces with AFM. Chad then moved to Penn State and joined Paul Cremer’s group where he received his Ph.D in 2021. There he studied how hydration water mediates the binding of ions to a diverse set of functional groups in aqueous solutions. In the Webb group, he studies how interactions between peptides and phospholipid bilayers govern cell-penetrating behavior.


Graduate Students

fry thief

Yu Chun Lin

B.S., National Tsing Hua University, 2017

Office: FNT 3.134


Yu-Chun received her BS in Chemistry with a concentration of Energy and the Environment from NTHU in 2017.  She did her undergraduate research at the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences at Academia Sinica, Taiwan, focusing on the applications of orbital overlap in semiconductors. In the Webb group, she plans to focus on computational approaches to predict pKa values in proteins. bla bla bla bla bla bla bla blabla bla bla bla bla bla blabla bla bla bla bla bla blabla bla bla bla bla bla



Paul Handali

B.S., Trinity College, 2018

Office: FNT 3.134


Paul was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, and was raised there untill he was 11 years old, after which he returned to his passport country of Indonesia. For college, he moved to the US where he obtained a BS in chemistry at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, with a minor in Japanese. While at Trinity, he worked with Dr. Timothy Curran developing organometallic models of beta-sheets.  He joined the Webb group in Fall 2018, interested in developing methods of attaching proteins to abiotic surfaces without loss in protein structure or function.


Sydney Povilaitis

B.S., St. Olaf College, 2018

Office: FNT 3.134


Sydney grew up in Wausau, Wisconsin, and graduated from St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN) with a B.A. in Chemistry in 2018. At St. Olaf, she was involved in a variety of undergraduate research projects including antimicrobial peptide and milkweed cardenolide isolation. In the Webb group, Sydney is interested in investigating peptide-membrane interactions and the effect of small changes in sterol structure on membrane electric fields.



Erich Wolff

B.S., University of Massachusetts Boston, 2020

Office: FNT 3.134


Erich was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Marshfield, Massachusetts. He returned to Boston to earn his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Boston. At UMB he worked with Dr. Michelle Foster to identify and study the surface interactions of carboxylic acids and eutectic gallium-indium nanoparticles using ATR, DRIFTS, and Transmission FTIR. In the Webb group, he was interested in studying the relationship between peptides and phospholipid bilayers to better understand cell penetration. 




Morgan Mantsch

Morgan grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. She plans to receive her BS in Physics from UT in May 2023. Before joining the Webb group as an undergraduate research assistant, she interned at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Dr. Rafal Fudala's Lipoprotein Drug Delivery Lab. In the Webb group, she is helping to study the effect of sterol composition on membrane electric fields.  She hopes to continue in biophysics research after graduating. 



Dr. Lauren J. Webb
Professor of Chemistry
Graduate Advisor

A.B., Bowdoin College, 2000
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 2005
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University, 2005 - 2008

Office: FNT 2.104A





























Frank Jermusek

B.S., University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017

Office: FNT 3.134


Originally from the Twin Cities area in Minnesota, Frank earned his BS in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2017.  During this time, Frank worked in Dr. William Fahl's laboratory studying the efficacy of PrC-210 as a reactive oxygen species scavenging molecule.  Frank handled mice for a tumorigenesis study and learned DNA damage analysis. In the Spring of 2019, Frank joined the Webb laboratory to investigate electrostatic interactions between proteins. bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla



Josh Correira

B.S., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2018

Office: FNT 3.134


Josh grew up in central Massachusetts and graduated from RPI with a BS in chemistry.  While at RPI, he worked on synthesizing novel photo-initiator molecules for use in 3D printing applications, mentored first-year students, and worked as a Firefighter/EMT.  Josh joined the Webb group in the Fall of 2018.





Jake Fink

B.S., Georgia Gwinnett College, 2018

Office: FNT 3.134


Jake grew up in Suwanee, Georgia and graduated from Georgia Gwinnett College with a BS in Biochemistry in 2018. During his time at GGC he studied the binding of neuromelanin to Parkinsonian agents. He spent a year following graduation as an ORISE intern at the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Durham, North Carolina where he worked on in vitro neurotoxicity assays of PFAS compounds and other industrial products. He joined the Webb Group in the spring of 2020.



Robert Ellis

B.S., Brigham Young University, 2021

Office: FNT 3.134


Robert grew up in Hillsboro, Oregon and attended Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah, graduating with a BS in Chemistry in 2021. While at BYU with Dr. Kara J. Stowers, he researched different heterogeneous catalysts for the hydrogenation reaction of ammonia borane. In the Webb group, Robert is interested in the study of protein fibrillization and how it can be controlled on gold surfaces.



Michelle Nguyen (BS, Microbiology, 2010)
The University of Texas Medical School at Houston (MD program)

Huong Tran (BS, Chemistry, 2010)
PhD (Chemistry), The University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016
Postdoc, DeGrado Laboratory, University of California - San Francisco

Daniel Ensign (Postdoctoral Scholar)
Two Sigma Investments, Houston, TX

Layking Chang (BS, Chemical Engineering)

Juana Rivas (Texas A&M University-Commerce, NSF REU Scholar)

Robert Newberry (BS, Biochemistry, 2011)
PhD (Chemistry), The University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016
Postdoc, DeGrado Laboratory, University of California - San Francisco

Ellen Hays (BS, Biochemistry, 2011)
The University of Washington (chemistry graduate program)

Wenhui Hu (MS, Chemistry, 2011)

Ignacio Gallardo (Postdoctoral Scholar)
Environmental Scientist, AECOM, Austin, TX

Nicholas Albanesi (BS, Neuroscience)

Coriyon Arrington (East Carolina University, NSF REU Scholar)

Ruifei Wang (BS, Aerospace Engineering)
Baylor College of Medicine (MD Program)

Nancy Gonzalez (BS, Chemistry, 2014)

Germain Martinez (BS, Chemistry)

Kristeen Onyirioha (BS, Chemistry, 2014)
University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center (MD Program)

David Walker (PhD, Biochemistry, 2014)
Postdoc, Harshey Laboratory, UT-Austin

Christina Ragain (PhD, Chemistry, 2014)
Department of Chemistry, Southeastern Missouri State University

Annette Raigoza (Postdoctoral Scholar)
Department of Chemistry, College of St. Benedict and St. John's University

Kjell Schroeder (PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, 2015)
Big Delta Systems, Houston, TX

Andrew Ritchie (PhD, Chemistry, 2015)
Epic, Madison, WI

Jason Dugger (PhD, Chemistry, 2015)
Postdoc, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Mahnoor Zia (BS Chemistry, 2015)
Texas A&M University (MD Program)

Seth Norman

Rebika Shrestha (PhD, Chemistry, 2016)
Postdoc, National Institutes of Health

Joshua Slocum (PhD, Chemistry, 2017)
Postdoc, UC-Boulder and JILA

Benjamin Chang (BS, Chemistry, 2017)

Desiree Fernandez (BS, Chemistry, 2019)

Santiago Sanchez (BS, Chemistry, 2017)
MPhill Program, Cambridge University, UK

Bella Shah (BS, Computer Science, 2017)

Lisa Strong (BS, Biochemistry, 2018)
PhD Program, UC-Berkely

Annie Zhang (BS, Chemistry, 2019)

Cari Anderson (PhD, Chemistry, 2019)
Intel Corp.

Elisa Novelli (PhD, Chemistry, 2019)
Intel Corp.

Jeremy First (PhD, Chemistry, 2019)

Whitney Fies (PhD, Chemistry, 2019)

Molly Kogan (PhD, Chemistry, 2021)
Meso Scale Diagnostics

Henry Pan (PhD, Chemical Engineering, 2022)

Danielle Landry (BS, Chemistry, 2022)